How Tall Was Napoleon Bonaparte?

Historians have often depicted Napoleon Bonaparte as unusually short, although evidence shows that he probably was at least 5 feet, 6 inches (1.68 m) tall, and possibly 5 feet, 7 inches (1.7 m). This was the average height for men at the time that Bonaparte lived. Descriptions of him being much smaller, such as 5 feet 2 (1.58 m) are believed to have been the result of differences between British inches and French inches at the time.

More about Napoleon:

  • Napoleon was born into a family of minor Italian nobility. His father was an attorney.

  • Many pictures show Napoleon to be overweight, although these were painted in his later years. According to pictures and first-person accounts, Napoleon was of normal weight during his youth.

  • In popular culture, a short man who demonstrates unnecessarily aggressive behavior is sometimes said to have a Napoleon complex.

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